If you think Apple’s AirPods are the best in the truly wireless game right now, you’re wrong my friend.
Jabra presented the Elite Sport a year back at a staggering ₹18,999 price tag. At that time, truly wireless buds weren't too present in the main game, they were just coming in. Although right now, the ‘truly wireless’ game is raging, so much that everyone wants one. It’s become very common to spot wireless headphones and earphones in and around the city. No one’s going to eyeball and ask what are those. You aren’t a Star Trek character anymore.
Everyone wants to get rid of those wires, and the era of the headphone jack just might be over for most brands, but we’re pretty sure audiophiles still need them for Hi-res music and to keep their dignity.
The Jabra Elite 65t truly wireless lit our fire and just might be the best amongst all the other wireless buds out there. Why so? You’ll have to read below to know more my friend.
Design: Mr. Fantastic
Don’t you all feel Apple’s just cut the cord of the EarPods and added Bluetooth to the AirPod to make it completely wireless? We feel so. They just look weird on the ear.
Unlike the AirPods, the Elite 65t look funky, bold and well molded shaped like the inner part of the ear so it blends in and looks good. It’s made of hard plastic but feels light and comfortable on the ear. If you happen to wear the earbud for a long time, you might feel these buds have become a part of you.
They've got a snug fit and don’t fall off that easy (you have to try on different silicon/foam tips to find your perfect fit). To be honest, we’ve dropped them once and we almost skipped a beat, not because we thought one broke, but because we thought we lost it. Thankfully, it’s got ‘Find my Jabra' on the Sound+ app (iOS and Android) so you can look for it.
Unfortunately you can't take these for a swim, but it’ll easily withstand sweat and rain water droplets thanks to its IP55 rating and two year warranty against dust and water.
Each of the earbuds have two microphones for calls and commands and loaded with noise isolating tech to keep out the unwanted noise. Whilst indoors, these work fine. But as soon you step out into the world of honks, screams and firecrackers the microphone doesn't pick your voice very well, especially in India. We'd rather switch back to phone mode and have a normal conversation rather than “Hello, can you hear me OK?......Hello?”. You know what we mean.
The Jabra Elite 65ts have a lot of functionality on the earbuds to play around with too. It’s got two buttons on the left for volume control and song switching. On the right, its got one single button to wake Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri, pause/play and double tap to switch on ‘HeartThrough’ mode. What is that? We’ll get to that shortly.
Box Talk: Charge me up
Imagine the Elite 65t as your non-living pet. And just like all premium pets have homes, the Jabra’s have a semi-circular hard plastic box to keep ‘em safe and juice them up to give you a full day’s battery life on the battle playground.
The Jabras are pretty easy to use once fully set up and connected to your phone. Just remove them from the box and plug ‘em into you ears, that’s it. Once back in the box, the Jabra sit tight and automatically turn off to reload on juice. They fit perfectly in the box and are held tightly. Don’t go shaking it like a present though, it’s not a toy. It's your pet, remember?
Battery life is a big concern when it comes to wireless connectivity. The Jabras got up to 5 hours of battery (15 hours with the case = two whole cycles) and can rapid charge in 15 min enough to survive an hour’s worth of play time, which is enough for your commute back home.
We feel the open/close clipper on the box should've been magnetic instead of the clip. Since the clip goes through a lot of open-close-open action, it tends to wear off over time. If you’re fidgety like us, you might find yourself playing with it. Go get yourself a fidget spinner young one, or else you might have to order a new one if the box loosens up.
Anyway, we’re still okay with the common micro USB charging port on the box instead of the Type-C. The box and the earbuds have LED lights which glow in red, yellow and green for different charging indicators so it’s easier to know when it’s low on battery or fully charged. Enough with the box, how does it sound?
Features: Whole lotta ‘em
The Jabra 65t isn’t sport or fitness centric like the Elite Sport or Bose SoundSport Free, that's why there's another version - Elite 65t Active for the fitness-freaks. The Elite 65t on the other hand are meant for everyone, especially for those who are looking to go completely hands-free and cut the wire clutter.
Think of these as a host and virus communicating with each other. The host is the box and the virus is the earbuds connected with each other and the box too. If one bud’s removed from the ear, music automatically pauses for a minute till you put them back on.
Packed in with Bluetooth 5.0 this seamlessly connects to your smartphone (Android/iOS) and is ready to blast them tunes. If you’ve got Android 8.1 running, some smartphones might even display the battery percentage at the Bluetooth setting too.
Download the Jabra Sport and Sound+ app for vital stats and go dig deeper into the customisation scenario. The Sport Life app can track your basic running, cycling, walking activities. You can also set up various training plans for cardio or cross training etc.
If you’re more of a couch potato or a regular commuter, the Sound+ is your go-to app for all the tweaking and tuning. It's got a Commute mode designed for platform announcements or car honks on the road and a focus mode for deep concentration so it cuts out all the external jibber-jabber in your surroundings.
You can choose to activate Alexa as your primary assistant (long press the right bud to summon) instead of Siri or the Google Assistant for usual commands like weather, news or info.
If you’re picky about how your music sounds you can play around with the equalizer for higher mids or lower lows. Thanks to Jabra’s HearThrough tech, you can choose to hear external sounds you want to hear and still keep your music playing with its Ambient sound setting (Double press the right bud to activate).With Ambient mode on and music put off, you will notice that everything you hear is kind of converted into audio. Your typing, swallowing, walking, breathing and even your heartbeats and other movements will feel sonically active. In other words, think of it as you having super hearing abilities.
The Jabra Elite 65t has plenty of features but it doesn't have noise-cancelling tech to block out unwanted noise completely. However, since it’s completely inside your ear and has noise-isolating, it does come close in blocking out sound. Phew, thought you had to deal with those cows mooing all day long? No chance.
Play the music: Welcome to the dark side of the moon
When it comes to music quality, the Jabras don't fail to impres. But something doesn’t feel quite ‘on-song’. We aren’t enthused by the music we’re listening to – there’s no special sense of drama or excitement here. Although, it tends to overlap the frequency, making a slight emphasis, perhaps, on the midrange over the bass and treble.
Nevertheless, the Elite 65t has the ability to immerse and pump you up with its heavy bass and presence. The mids and highs portray decent details and seem quite appropriate for the ₹13k price tag.
Another fault with other wireless earphones are its connectivity and audio playback through Bluetooth. Since the Elite 65t are completely wireless and equipped with BT 5.0, it plays music without stutter or lag. Even when watching videos on Youtube or Netflix the audio latency response time is zero. Visuals are in sync with audio playback.
If you don’t consider yourself an audiophile and if you're looking for something which satisfies and immerses you with the whole music experience and joy, then Elite 65t prove worthy. If sound quality is mainly what you’re looking for, we’d suggest to hold on and spend a little on a better sounding wireless pair of earphones.
The Doors - Roadhouse Blues
- Pink Floyd - Coming back to life
- Weeknd - Call out my name
- Lane 8 - No captain
- Eric Prydz - Melo
James Blake - The Wilhelm Scream
Reliability: Safe and sound
There are a few things us Indians are still skeptical about truly wireless earphones. We’ve got some serious trust issues out here. We’re scared that they'll fall out of the ear and break? What if someone takes one earpiece and runs away? What if they think i'm weird?
We completely agree reader, we do.
Jabra’s been thoughtful and also added the feature to find the Elite 65t if gone missing. In short, the Elite 65t are very reliable in terms of practicality with everyday usage, build quality, battery, connection and sound.
In terms of competition the truly wireless segment is selling like hotcakes and the Jabra Elite 65t has a lot of rivals out there each wanting a piece of the pie.
There’s the JBL Free (₹9999), Sony WF-SP700N (₹12,990), Samsung Gear Icon X (₹13,490), Sony WF-1000X (₹14,990), Apple AirPod (₹15,400) and the Bose SoundSport Free (₹18,990).
Each of them have their pros and cons, but for the price and value for money, the Jabra’s could be yours to keep if you’re not looking for something expensive.
Verdict: The best of the lot
The Jabra Elite 65t have proven to be the best among the lot, especially considering its price. The snug fit, superb connectivity, long lasting battery, cute little safety-cum-charging box, and great music quality make these truly wireless earphones a green signal.
We absolutely loved every minute wearing these. Makes us want to wear them all day long. We think we’re addicted.
If you’re looking out to buy something which isn't too expensive, does great in terms of practicality and everyday usage with great audio, then these should be added to your cart right away.